Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Last Day of Kindergarten...and Some Prayers Please!

On a positive note...

...this little one officially graduated from kindergarten today!

Such a sweet child!
Oh yes we did "dress up" for the last day of school!
First Day of Kindergarten.  An apple for her teacher.

Modeling her "Back to School Outfit" the night before for Daddy.
And see that baby swing in the background of the above picture?

Well...this little man will have none of that!  He hasn't for quite some time now.  
In fact...not only has he been crawling since about 6 1/2 months...he now pulls to standing and takes a few sideways steps!

One month old at the start of the school year...

Just shy of 10-months old at the end of the school year!
On a more somber note...
Please continue to keep southwest Missouri and east central Kansas in your thoughts and prayers.  

So many of my friends, here in Kansas City, have friends and family who have lost everything in Joplin (2.5 hours south of the metro)  The devastation is unimaginable. 

We are all on edge.  
Our NOAA Weather radio has gone off repeatedly since last Saturday night...all night long...and nerves are frayed.  And while I have tried to limit the amount of media coverage that my little ones have been exposed to about this particular tragedy (there have been so many all over our country and world this year!), they also need to understand the significance of what to do when we hear the weather radio alerts and actual tornado sirens warning us to seek immediate shelter.  Unfortunately those alerts and sirens have been constant.

It's just the reality of living in Tornado Alley. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bibbibi Bobbidi Boo...

Mary Catherine's friend, Aubrey, is turning 5...woo-hoo!

And to help these little princesses celebrate...Cinderella!

Mary is beside herself.

She has adorned her "Ariel" costume. I bought her a new tiara and did her hair in an "updo".

But we must be off, lest we be late for the ball!

More pics to come!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Know You're Addicted to Blogging When... actually go to the public library to log on to Blogger!

My computer is very sick and in the "hospital". :(

Even though I don't post nearly as much as I did before Luke arrived...and comment even less on all of your lovely blogs, I still logged in every day and read your blogs to keep up with all of you!

I am going thru serious withdrawal!

And the "Session Information Minute Countdown" on the public library computer is haunting me! LOL

Hope to be back up and operational soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We're Sewing Up Some Sweet Confections!

Like her mommy, Mary Catherine has a sweet tooth!  

This afternoon my sweet girl and I went to the fabric shop to pick up an apron pattern and some fabric.  

She seems to think that this...

and this...

will chase the cold and clouds away.

I know it's done wonders to improve my not so cherry disposition over the return of colder weather

I think Mary Catherine and Felicity (her American Girl doll) are going to look adorable in their matching ensemble!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Extreme Makeover...Hairstyle Edition

When it's 94 degrees out...what's a girl to do?  
Get a fun and flirty haircut for a brand new summer "do"!

I can't even believe I'm posting this photo of myself.  Actually, I can't believe that I have been wearing my hair like this for months!  Ugh!


I told my hairstylist I was ready to go short.  And I mean short!
And even though I'm still getting used to it, (I felt bald in the shower!) I love the new look.  It is perfect for summertime!  I was really needing a "lift" (think cold temperatures, foot injury, weight gain, etc.) and a new hair do was the perfect remedy!

What do you do for a little "pick-me-up"?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Farmhouse Gets a Facelift!

At the end of April, the "farmhouse" got a facelift.

We built and moved into our home in May of 2002 and after nine years, our simple "Greek Revival" needed an update. Not to mention, a fresh look and "do over" for the doors! (I tried my hand at "painting" the front door.  I wanted to go from a "forest green" to a "glossy black".  I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant (four years ago) and terrified of falling off the ladder so I made a giant mess of it!

Note to self...always hire a professional to paint the exterior of the house. A.) They know what the heck they are doing, and B.) they can complete the project in half the time that you can!

Without further ado, here is the 
"Extreme Makeover...Farmhouse Edition"!

It has been downright COLD here in Kansas this Spring.  (In fact, Mary was wearing a Winter coat on April 30th.)  As you can see from the photos, our trees had barely begun to bud.  Skies were dreary for almost the entire month.  And while I don't really have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), I was singing the blues for warmer temps!  

I kept the coffee pot  brewing for "Painter Dave".   Some days, it would spit rain. On those mornings or afternoons he would work under the wrap-around porch.  Other days, no rain, but biting winds.  Painter Dave power washed the house and then caulked all the places that needed to be filled in.

Why, yes, we did almost burn down our house one afternoon while grilling out.

I never realized just how much white paint fades over the years.  I guess it bleaches out by the sunlight losing that fresh, crisp appearance.  Love how white and bright the house now looks!

I went with a beautiful rustic red for the front and back doors.  After all, if I can't live on a "real" farm with a red barn, I can play "dress up".  LOVE the "farmhouse" look that the red front and back doors add to the appearance.

I'm not quite down with our persona "Extreme Home Makeover".  I'm thinking of painting my porch rocker and swing black.  I think that they would pop against the white clapboard siding and nicely complement the red door.

I've also been looking for large black urns to flank the front door or perhaps an antique washtub.  I need to get to the flea markets soon.  My Boston ferns and petunias are lonely!  :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Little Grass Shack

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday honoring the mothers in their life.

We had a fun-filled weekend at our house.

On Saturday, Mimi and Papa drove in from St. Louis to see Mary Catherine perform in her End-of-Year ballet recital. The theme was "Dancing Our Way Across the USA". Mary performed in three different numbers. She absolutely loves ballet and it showed this weekend!

Today, we enjoyed Mass and a lovely brunch out.  (This allowed for me to treat my mom to a delicious breakfast and lunch even though I wasn't home at all on Friday or Saturday to properly entertain.  If I had been thinking far enough in advance I would have prepared pineapple upside down cake for our little hula baby!)

I hope you enjoy the music and pictures...two of the songs on the PlayList (Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Little Grass Shack) are the actual numbers she performed to...I couldn't find Way Down in New Orleans from the Disney Princess and the Frog soundtrack.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stoking the Education Flames

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.  ~William Butler Yeats

Mary Catherine is over the moon with excitement!  It's official...she's transferring schools for the 2011-2012 school year.  
I thought these Easter wreaths on the parish church doors were so full of color.
The decision was a difficult one for us...we were blessed with a wonderfully creative and supportive kindergarten teacher at Mary's public elementary school.  But something was missing...

not the arts...that's for sure.  Mary has loved her art teacher and weekly art instruction.  She has also enjoyed P.E., library, and music...

...but still, something was missing.

When she shared with her daddy and me that she had been praying "in secret" at her desk, my  husband and I knew what decision we needed to make.

Why yes, that is a winter coat my daughter is sporting on April 29th!

It's a decision that we've been exploring for several months now, including visits during National Catholic Schools' Week and classroom observations this past month.

It's going to require financial sacrifice and a time commitment from all of us in this family.  But, my husband and I feel strongly that we must stoke "the fire" (see above quote) that the Holy Spirit has obviously lit in our daughter!

Little did we know that when we said "I do" in this very same church nearly 18 years later we would be sending our first-born to elementary school here!

I've reminded her on several occasions that her "new" school, which in fact is quite "old", will not be as fancy or have the latest and greatest technological advances, including no "art" program.  
She reminded me that instead, she "gets" to go to Mass once a week, wear a uniform, and pray during class time.  

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”  Richard L. Evans

Thank you, Mary Catherine, for continually teaching me what it means to unselfishly parent.  May you always know how much your father and I cherish you...body and spirit.

P.S. While we "officially" enrolled our daughter at St. Paul's last Friday, I waited until today to publicly announce our decision. This past week has been "National Teacher Appreciation Week" and I did not want Mary Catherine's teacher to hear the news from word of mouth (it is a small world, after all!) and think we did not appreciate her efforts this year.

Today, at dismissal, I spoke with Mrs. S. to let her know how much my husband and I appreciated all the extra attention she showered on Mary throughout the school year. Mary really took off with reading, and Mrs. S. went above and beyond to continue to challenge her.

My husband and I want to make sure that nobody thinks that we do not support our public schools...we do. But more importantly, we support school choice. Many would disagree with our decision, especially as I am a former public school educator, but as 3rd generation Catholic school graduates ourselves, it has been weighing on our minds that we were not continuing the tradition of providing a religious education for our children.

We believe all children deserve the best education available, whether that be public, parochial/private, or homeschool education.  The choice should always be left up to the parent.